Kidney School™—a program of Medical Education Institute, Inc.

Module 4—Following Your Treatment Plan


A wise man once said, "If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time."

Imagine you are taking practice shots with a bow and arrow. You lay a target face up on the grass, walk a short distance away, and shoot an arrow straight up into the air. You hope the arrow will land in the center of the bull's-eye. What are the chances that you will hit your mark?

Slim, you say?

Just about impossible would be more likely—not to mention risking your life in the process! Although you say you are shooting for the target, your aim is too random to have any real chance of hitting it. As silly as this might sound, it is just what some people with kidney disease do when it comes to managing their treatment plan.

Think of it this way—your treatment plan involves:

  • Medicines
  • Diet and fluid limits
  • Dialysis or a kidney transplant, if your kidneys have failed

With your input, your doctor and health care team prescribe a treatment plan tailored for you. Their job is to watch the progress and effectiveness of the treatment plan. Your job is to take part in developing your treatment plan, then follow it and make it work for you. Why worry about following the plan? Because it will help you stay healthy and allow you to keep doing what you enjoy.

Take the Kidney Quiz!

You'll have a better sense of how much you're learning if you take our quick kidney quiz before you start. It's just 9 questions. How about it?

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To follow your treatment plan, you need a few things:

  1. First, you need to know why your treatments are prescribed, what effect they will have on your health if you stick with them, and what will happen if you don't.
  2. Second, you must know your role and take on the job to follow the plan.
  3. Third, let your nephrologist and care team know any barriers that are keeping you from sticking with your plan, so they can work with you to overcome them.
  4. Fourth, expect frustration and setbacks along the way. Know your triggers and prepare for them, so you can stick with your treatment plan.

Missing any one of these items is the same as aiming your arrow toward the sky and hoping to hit the target. It probably won't happen. The good news is, you can do a great deal to straighten your shot!

This module is designed to:

  • Help you find the target (understand and take part in the treatment plan)
  • Take aim (know your job)
  • And hit the bullseye (follow through)

All you need is the will to practice.

In this module, we will outline the key pieces of the treatment plan and give you the tools you need to hit the mark. So, let's get started.

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